Discover on this six-day tour, why the Incas turned the Sacred Valley into the centre of their empire. Learn about the main attractions of the city of Cusco and the valley, from impressive archaeological sites to Andean landscapes that leave you breathless at the foot of peaks covered in white snow.
Cusco: The ancient Inca capital is a unique mix of pre-Columbian past with Spanish architecture.
Coricancha: Impressive sample of the convergence of the Inca universe with the colonial one. It was the temple dedicated to the adoration of the sun. Once the Spaniards arrived, the foundations of the temple were used as the basis for the construction of the convent of Santo Domingo.
Cathedral: Unmistakable Gothic-Renaissance construction in the Plaza de Armas. Inside you can see a valuable collection of canvases from the prestigious Cusco Art School.
Sacsayhuaman: An immense Inca fortress erected in the 15th century on top of a hill above Cusco. Its gigantic stones are proof of its importance that continues to surprise visitors 500 years later.
Machu Picchu: The "lost city of the Incas" is the reason why thousands of people arrive in Peru. Hidden among the vegetation, get closer to our past through its rooms built in communion with the surrounding landscape.
Arrive at Cusco Airport and enjoy a comfortable transfer you to your selected hotel in the Sacred Valley. En route to the hotel, following the road to Pisac, you will make a stop at the Inkariy Museum where you will learn about the pre-Columbian history and traditions of Peru. Upon arrival at your hotel, check in to your room and enjoy some free time.
During the morning, you are picked up from your hotel to visit the town of Chinchero, a traditional Cusco urban centre located at an elevated point with a beautiful view of the valley. The inhabitants of this area preserve the artisan traditions and the inherited knowledge of the Incas and display them in their clothes and customs. In Chinchero there are also archaeological remains and a beautiful seventeenth-century church, one of the first Catholic buildings in Peru. Then, you are transferred to the Living Museum of Yucay, an Andean tradition interpretation centre with demonstrations of the production of textile work, adobe, pottery and silverware, following the techniques used by the ancestors. Also, residents of the museum include llamas, sheep and alpacas, and they can be fed! Upon arriving in Ollantaytambo, inhabited uninterruptedly since Inca times, have a superior Andean gastronomy experience in a restaurant and feel the true spirit of the Sacred Valley, transmitted in a cosy atmosphere! Later, climb the iconic fortress, built next to a mountain. At the end of this activity, you are transferred back to your hotel.
*On Sundays, also visit the local market.
A transportation service will pick you up and transfer you to the Ollanta Station to board the train to Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu. Following a scenic journey through dramatic Andean landscapes, arrive at the station in Aguas Calientes. Here you board a coach for a 25-minute ride to Machu Picchu. The ‘Lost City of the Incas’ is believed to have been built in the 1450s by Inca emperor Pachacuti as a holiday retreat, yet within a century the city would be abandoned following the Spanish conquest. The Spaniards never found it, so it was spared the destruction they brought on other Inca sites. Instead, it was slowly swallowed up by the jungle and hidden from harm. A guided tour explains the origins behind this awe-inspiring citadel, presenting its most prominent landmarks such as the monumental Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial, and the Burial Grounds. Return to Aguas Calientes for lunch and enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
Today, you can optionally return to Machu Picchu. You may discover the views from Huayna Picchu, which is about 360 metres above Machu Picchu with an underground temple complex; and from Inti Punku, which offers even better views from about 390 metres above the citadel. Another option is the Inca Bridge, a secret military trail, which controlled the access to the citadel. In the afternoon, transfer to the Aguas Calientes station and take the train back to Ollanta station. From here you will be transferred to your hotel in Cusco.
Enjoy a guided tour of the former capital of the Inca Empire. The tour starts with a visit to Santo Domingo Convent, a large Renaissance-baroque complex, which was built over the Inca Coricancha temple. It was one of the most important temples dedicated to worshipping of the sun, and its foundations are still prominent at the base of the convent. Ancient chronicles say the temple was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. Then, visit the Cathedral, the most imposing monument of the Main Square. Head to the hills above Cusco to visit the remains of the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, whose impressive ramparts offer a stunning panoramic view of Cusco, and the ruins of the temple and amphitheater of Qenqo, where it is believed the Incas practised agricultural rituals. Admire Qenqo and then finally visit Puka Pukara (‘Red fortress’ in Quechua) an Inca military complex located on a prominent hill. Its dwellings squares, bathrooms, aqueducts, walls, and towers can still be appreciated. Afterwards, return to your hotel.
After finishing your breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to Cusco’s airport to take your departure flight.
7 days - 6 nights
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